If we have learned one thing at Tinson Training over the last eighteen months or so it is how to make good use of video communication technology. So have millions of others, stoking the exponential growth of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and a host of other tech options bobbing in their wake.

It all seems so much like a brave new world of training and learning in place – but is it?

One may be accused of a dinosaur attitude in raising this question but it does need to be aired. The raising of restrictions and returning to some sort of normality in Bespoke Onsite Training has reminded me that technology without humanity on its own is not the way to deliver training that has value to trainees and their companies.

The fundamental issue is in the level of interaction, or lack of it. I have found that when training via Teams or Zoom with a group of trainees I cannot truly engage as I can in person. Unless there is a sense that we are all in this, leading learning and listening together, that mysterious transfer of knowledge is sadly diminished. Drawing out the less vocal, explaining in more detail when needed, or picking up on an interesting point raised become much more difficult and any glitch in the tech quickly drains away any level of engagement there might be. Without engagement there is little learning.

Now that we are nearly back to normal, albeit, with a healthy attention to hygiene and social distancing, I would not want to suggest that video communication technology no longer figures in our work. I now see it as a complementary tool and one that is very beneficial in specific areas. It makes dealing with client inquiries much easier and quicker to handle wherever they may be with minimal carbon and time impacts. It also facilitates one-to-one tutoring, training refreshers and course retakes that would be difficult and probably uneconomic to do other than online.

So Technology and Training are a partnership of human inputs enhanced, but not replaced, by tech in delivering high quality bespoke onsite training that up-skills and empowers its recipients.

It’s what we do at Tinson Training.